After taking first in Nor Cal’s Fall League in 2014, the Turlock FC White team underwent several changes. Three team members moved on to other clubs and several team members have suffered injuries throughout the season. All of this made it more of a challenge for the girls to overcome the setbacks, but they proved themselves worthy of such a challenge.
This past weekend, the Turlock FC White U12 girls team placed first in the 2015 Nor Cal Spring League after defeating Atwater after a 3-1 win in Livingston.
Heading into the game, the Atwater squad was the favorite to win even after an impressive spring season from Turlock. Being the underdogs motivated the local team to come out with a fury and they did, scoring the first goal.
“The girls did a fantastic job,” said Turlock FC head coach Rick Sotomayor. “With this group of girls, they have done quite a great job with winning and the girls are great competitors. They don't give up.”
With so much on the line, Turlock knew just how important this game was. They knew that a tie would not allow them the title, so it was win or go home with no title.
“The girls had to win that game to win the league and if they tied they would not have won the league, so it was simple,” said Sotomayor. “They came out very strong and then we had a defensive battle that occurred in the last half when we scored two goals.”
With a tie game heading into the second half and Atwater threatening, Turlock goalkeeper, Morgan Blankenship played a pivotal role as she blocked multiple shot attempts leading up to the tiebreaker.
Nothing held these girls back; instead, they went on a surge in the second half after Emily Alvarez turned the momentum with a long goal from about 18-yards to give Turlock the go-ahead score and a 2-1 lead.
With about three minutes remaining in the game, Sidney Cantwell put the game away after she scored the third and final goal for Turlock after she hit a direct kick for the near post net.
“They approached the game with a competitive nature,” said Sotomayor. “They have a lot of heart. This is what they want to do. This spring they have a motto which is, we know there is uncontrollable situations and they know what they can control and what not, so they are a smart bunch.”
Turlock finishes the season with an 8-2 record after scoring 55 goals and allowing only 12.
“All around it was a great season,” said Sotomayor. “This group of young ladies, the talent is spread across, from right, left, mids, defenders, everyone is great. They have a philosophy of attacking and playing together and that's the neat thing about them.”
The Turlock FC White will compete in a beach soccer tournament June 13 and 14 in Santa Cruz.
“Next tournament we go to Santa Cruz and it’s a blast. Real competitive and hopefully the girls can come away with a title there and this year going in they want to win,” said Sotomayor.